Sunday team by team: Part 2

Autosport.com's Formula 1 editor Jonathan Noble gives a rundown of what was happening up and down the pit-lane during the Japanese Grand Prix

Sunday team by team: Part 2



Sauber took another world championship point after Giancarlo Fisichella put in a strong drive, despite a brief moment on lap 16 when he ran off the track at Spoon Curve. He faced an ultra-tough battle in the midfield amongst much stronger machinery, while Felipe Massa had to come through the field after a mistake in qualifying left him 19th on the grid. He still managed to finish ninth.

GIANCARLO FISICHELLA: "For me it was an excellent race. The car was really good, and my only problem came on lap 16 when I ran off the road briefly in the Spoon Curve. There was a sensor problem with the fuel alarm and I was just radioing the pits for a report; unfortunately I left my braking a little bit too late as I lost concentration, but I recovered quite well. The best I could have hoped for without that was seventh, so I'm happy."

FELIPE MASSA: "I wasn't very happy with myself after my mistake in qualifying, but I think I made up for that in the race today! It was fantastic! I really enjoyed myself. I was able to push hard right from the start and I did a lot of overtaking. I pulled some really good moves, so it was really, really satisfying."




A day of highs and lows for Jaguar. The morning qualifying delivered a brilliant third place grid slot for Mark Webber, but it all went downhill from the start. The Australian lost three places off the grid and after a few laps started complaining of an overheating seat. This eventually forced him into the pits to see if the problem could be fixed before his eventual retirement. Team-mate Christian Klien came home 12th.

MARK WEBBER: "Unfortunately my start was not as good as I would have liked and I lost three places. Then I was being held up by the Toyota of Jarno Trulli so that was frustrating for us. It was then on lap seven that I noticed that the cockpit was becoming increasingly hot and in particular my right-hand side. I pitted as planned on lap eleven and the team tried to cool me down and solve the problem. We could not find the cause for the heat and so I carried on in the hope that it would cool down or at least remain static. It didn't and the heat soon became excruciatingly hot and I had no option but to retire."

CHRISTIAN KLIEN: "My start was okay today and I did my best to maintain my position although with a Ferrari behind me this was not do-able. I was also in an unfortunate position in that I had not had any dry practice on this track and so the race was really my first opportunity to learn the track. As the race progressed I became more comfortable with the track and the car and although we had not had any time to set-up the car the balance was okay. The circuit is incredibly challenging on the car and driver and I was pleased that my race went smoothly and I was able to finish."




Jarno Trulli seemed to have justified his decision to make a racing return with Toyota this year when he grabbed sixth on the grid, although it probably owed more to the changeable weather conditions favouring the Italian rather than the out-and-out pace of the TF104B chassis. Trulli got past a slow-starting Mark Webber off the line but suffered from a major tyre drop-off that eventually led to him coming home 11th. Olivier Panis, starting his final F1 grand prix, suffered similar tyre problems to Trulli and finished 14th.

JARNO TRULLI: "I do not think that we could have achieved anything better today. After a good qualifying, which put me sixth on the grid, I got a good start and was up to fifth place at the end of the first lap. Unfortunately, during the race, there was a big tyre drop-off, which compromised the car balance and grip levels and made it a tough afternoon for me. However, there are only positives to take away from this weekend; it was my race debut for Panasonic Toyota Racing and I gathered a lot of valuable experience, which was my priority here in Suzuka this weekend."

OLIVIER PANIS: "Although I am not satisfied with the result, we did our best in today's race. We took a risk with the tyre choice after the bad weather restricted our running on Friday, but I had a lot of graining this afternoon and I simply could not push. I am very happy that I could complete my last F1 race in front of all the Japanese fans. To stop racing after eleven years is a special moment. I would like to thank everyone in Panasonic Toyota Racing for two enjoyable years, all the support and for the F1 car that has been generously given to me as a gift. Although I have stopped racing, this is not the end because I have signed a two year contract as third driver. Now we have to continue the challenge."




Another frustrating afternoon for Jordan as Japanese Grand Prix race day failed to deliver the kind of weather conditions that had allowed the team to excel in Friday practice. Nick Heidfeld finished 13th after some electronic problems led to his pit-lane speed limiter coming on during the race at one point, while Timo Glock found himself having to learn the track in the race. He also had gear problems and an incident with Kimi Raikkonen to contend with as he finished 15th.

NICK HEIDFELD: "I got a good start and gained a position or two. For the first part of the race I had quite a loose rear and we made some adjustments at the first pit stop, which certainly helped. I had one or two small electronic issues, maybe something on the gearbox as on one of the pit stops I couldn't get into neutral. Also at one point suddenly the pit lane speed limiter was on while I was on the circuit and I lost a couple of seconds there. Otherwise, I think in the circumstances, given that we did not have a lot of time to practice here, I'm happy with our starting set-up and what we achieved in the race."

TIMO GLOCK: "My start and first couple of laps were not too bad but overall it was difficult today. The car set-up was not that good and I had everything: oversteering, understeering, changes in the pit stops didn't seem to help much and the car didn't feel easy to drive. I had big problems and couldn't find a rhythm. Added to that I had gear problems and a crash with Kimi Raikkonen that I didn't see coming - all in all it was a bad race for me."




Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner both had fairly unspectacular afternoons, despite the chaotic weekend schedule meaning that they were learning the track in the dry from the start of the race itself. Bruni took 16th while Baumgartner spun out on lap 45 at turn five, just after his final pit-stop.

GIANMARIA BRUNI: " It turned out to be quite an uneventful race, but it was good to finish here at Suzuka, as that is always the first ambition of the team. We struggled with the package we have, though, and in particular today with oversteer, but I'm looking forward to Brazil now and hoping to get another solid finish there."

ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER: "Overall, it was not my weekend here at Suzuka, although my pace in the race wasn't too bad, especially considering I had never driven in the dry here before. I like high-speed circuits, which is probably why I got used to this one quite quickly. Unfortunately, I made a mistake while pushing really hard after my final stop and went off the track. I'm upset not to have finished, particularly for the guys, as I caused them quite a lot of work this weekend. I'd like to thank them for their efforts."

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